Donald and Saddam !
The world of the political wordsmith will be all the poorer for the recent political passing of Donald Rumsfeld :
In 2002 , Mr. Rumsfeld told a US Defence meeting - " As we know , there are known knowns . There are things we know we know . We also know there are known unknowns . That is to say , we know there are some things we do not know . But there are also unknown unknowns - the ones we don't know we don't know . " !
When Donald was asked at a press conference where Osama bin Laden was during the hunt for him in Afghanistan , he stated - " We do know of certain knowledge that he is either in Afghanistan , or in some other country . Or dead . "
Asked would the US go to war without the backing of Westminster , Donald replied - " Their situation is distinctive to their country and they have a government that deals with a parliament in their way , distinctive way , and what will ultimately be decided is unclear as to their role.....um......that is to say their role in the event a decision is made to use force...."
He told the New York Times newspaper - " Once in a while , I'm standing here , doing something . And I think 'what in the world am I doing here?' It's a big surprise ! "
He once replied to a reporter - " If I know the answer I'll tell you the answer and if I don't , I'll just respond , cleverly! "
He is also on record for having said the following gem - " I think what you'll find , I think what you'll find is , whatever it is we do substantively , there will be near-perfect clarity as to what it is ."
And more 'Rumsfeldisms' :
" And it will be known , and it will be known to the Congress , and it will be known to you , probably before we decide it , but it will be known . "
" I would not say that the future is necessarily less predictable than the past . I think the past was not predictable when it started . "
" I also know that stating what might be preferable...er....is simply stating what might be preferable ."
" Near my office is an American flag done in .... origami ... that's one of those words that I haven't mastered yet! "
" Well , um , somethings neither good nor bad but thinking makes it so , I suppose . As Shakespeare said . "
" I believe what I said yesterday .... I don't know what I said , er , but I know what I think and ...well , I assume it's what I said . "
As Oscar Wilde put it : " We have really everything in common with America nowadays , except , of course , language . "